Song #40- Intention- Intelligent Music Project
Review: “Just too decent.”
It might not be surprising that Intention is my last place this year given the almost universal indifference to it among fans. That said, it isn’t as terrible as one might expect, and actually has some nice moments in the verses.
The fundamental problem is that the song manages to be decent, but nothing more. There’s no risk, no excitement, no build- we get little bursts of energy here and there, but on the whole, the song just feels tired and lacklustre. But there are some positives- the introductory riff has a nice grungy feel, and the first verse is perfectly serviceable, if a little choppy and lyrically weak. The moment where the drums switch to the off-beat in the pre-chorus is a nice contrast, but then we go into the chorus and all the build-up culminates in…the weakest chorus of the year. It’s the moment where you expect the energy to explode, giving us a catchy, memorable hook to sing along to, for the guitars to give us some cool riffs, for the vocalist to hit some strong notes, but…nothing. It just feels so bland and uninspiring. Lyrically, melodically, instrumentally, the chorus is just boring. The lyrics give us nothing to connect to, no story to follow, and the music is just not interesting enough to hold its own. The vocal line stays the same, the guitars don’t go anywhere, and the whole song is dragged down.
But, there is some potential here, if the band revamp the song. The moments where the song commits to the rock- the opening riff, the guitar solo, the variation in the drum beat- are the strongest, and if the band can fully commit to rock throughout the song, it will sound a lot more authentic, and perhaps more engaging. I don’t think a revamp will solve the fundamental issues here, but it would improve the song, for sure. Additionally, it needs about ten times the energy- it feels tired and dull right now, and it’s like everyone’s playing far too safe (ironic for a song that brags about never being in the safety zone). I can listen to it- it’s not unpleasant- but it reminds me of the B-side of a band desperately clinging on to their fame, far past their heyday. A shame, because Stoyan’s previous entries (Bulgaria 2007 and 2013) were teeming with rich ideas, helped by engaging melodic ideas, masterful use of drums, and heaps of energy and excitement. This just pales in comparison- too safe, too uninspired, just too decent.
I highly doubt that Bulgaria is going to make it out of the semi-finals unless they make some drastic changes to the song. Fan reaction has been so poor that I’d bet on them losing the televote: I’ve never seen so many ‘top’ videos rank the same song last to the point where Intention’s chorus almost serves as an introduction to the real video. Juries might be a little more forgiving, but because the song is so weak musically, I can’t see them flocking to it- if this gets through, it will be THE shock qualification of the year.
Additionally, they’re going to struggle following Ukraine in the semi-final- another band, with fresh ideas and energy overflowing, that is sure to completely upstage this tired rock ditty. It’s a shame, because Bulgaria’s sent so many strong entries since 2016. Maybe next year they’ll be back on top form again.